George Weigel, a Catholic theologian and distinguished senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center, will discuss “Pope John Paul II: An Assessment and Appreciation” in a 7:30 p.m. lecture Monday, Oct. 4, in the auditorium of O’Shaughnessy Educational Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

George Weigel

George Weigel

Weigel’s talk will be based on his new book, The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II – The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy.  (The book will be available at the Oct. 4 lecture.) Weigel also is the author of Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. Published in 14 languages between 1999 and 2007, the account of John Paul’s life, thought and action was the basis of a documentary film released in 2001.

The lecture, free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Center for Catholic Studies. For more information, call the center at (651) 962-5700.

A native of Baltimore, Weigel studied there at St. Mary’s Seminary and University; he later received a master’s at the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto. He moved to Seattle where he taught theology at St. Thomas Seminary and became scholar-in-residence at the World Without War Council.

Weigel has been at the Ethics and Public Policy Center since 1989. As its former president and currently its William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies, Weigel has led a wide-ranging, ecumenical and inter-religious program of research and publication on foreign and domestic policy issues.

In addition to editing or writing 20 books, Weigel has written essays, columns and reviews for major U.S. newspapers and is a contributor to Newsweek. He is a Vatican analyst for NBC news and his weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated to 60 U.S. newspapers. His writings often are translated into the major European languages.

Weigel has received a dozen honorary doctorates and the papal cross “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.” More information about him can be found on the Ethics and Public Policy Center website.